Friday, November 26, 2010

our Thanksgiving - aka we burned our turkey

So we're celebrating our big family dinner today. We're going to my Granny's house; she's 85 and this year has not been kind to her in the health department (I think she's been in the hospital 3x since New Year's). My mom has been staying with her and pretty much has abandoned her home in Pioneer to a friend that she is letting live there rent free because she has 2 boys still living at home and is going back to school and there is no income. I know this is financially strapping my mom too; she's still paying a mortgage on a house she isn't even living in. We're also having Jon's dad join us today; things have been rough for him since my mother in-law died two years ago. The house they owned is grossly over mortgaged and the government just realized they've been paying more in his annuity than he should have gotten . . . hence, they want almost $13k back. I haven't talked to my dad yet, but he works on the holidays and he's probably out shopping this Black Friday.

Yesterday we had a scary moment. Liam has done very well staying away from the pellet stove. He ignored it almost all day yesterday and our house was delightfully cozy (for a heck of a lot cheaper than running the heater). But last night, while I was cooking dinner and on the phone with my mom, and Jon was doing something who-knows-what at his computer, Liam took an old baby ring toy over to the glass of the stove. I just happened to catch him and I yelled to get his attention; Jon swooped in to yank him away. He was in tears but we thought it was because we had scared him and that he got caught doing something naughty. But he kept being whiney and miserable (also earmarks of a little boy who only took a 45 minute nap) and then he threw such a monster tantrum that we left him in his room.

Well he screamed so loud that he threw up (joy) and when we went back in that's when Jon noticed his little burned fingers on his left hand!!! We couldn't see them an hour earlier, but he had developed a couple blisters on his pointer and middle knuckles. OMG I let my baby burn himself! We got him into the tub to wash him for today, but he immediately put his hand in the warm water and that made him wail. So instead I got in the shower with him and had to hold his hand up because every time he tried to use them it he cried. But by bedtime, the Tylenol kicked in and we had some bacitracin on his fingers (can't use bandaids because he pulls them off). He woke up once in the middle of the night and it was more of a whimper than his nightmare cry. I rocked him back to sleep very quickly. Today his fingers look so much better! The red inflamed color is back to skin color and the blisters are still there but we'll keep putting bacitracin on them. This morning he's in high chipper spirits too.

Oh also, my ringworm is also gone and Liam's is looking much better but will still need a couple weeks before being totally gone.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thoughts on Thanksgiving food

This is my 100th post on Blogger. *throws confetti* One of these days I'll find a way to move all my old Livejournal posts over and you can see what fun college was for me ;)

While reading my facebook posts this morning, a comment on an old friend's post was intriguing. Her post yesterday was about brining turkeys. I got pulled into a little mini-discussion on the comments about which brine is best to use. (We use Alton's brine recipe btw) Her mother commented that my friend is so much more adventurous in the kitchen that she had been. Then another older relative of hers commented that she herself had never brined and that [my friend] was truly more adventurous. But I don't see her as adventurous because, well, that's the same way I cook. Which got me thinking . . .

Has our generation really taken leaps and bounds away from our grandmas' cooking?
So here's some things my husband and I couldn't be caught dead without:
  • smoked paprika and Worcestershire sauce in my green bean casserole
  • brine for my turkey
  • a roasting bag for the turkey (or most long term roasting operations)
  • bourbon in my pecan pie
  • Chinese 5 spice in my apple pie
  • bacon for lardon
  • ponzu (citrus soy sauce)
  • beef stock
  • roux
  • shallots
  • savory sweet potato dishes (instead of candied casseroles)
So, my Granny has always been a wonderful cook and did far more things from scratch than my mother. But you must also remember that she was a housewife in the days the TV dinner and the casserole too. She would follow recipes to the letter and they were the kind that pretty much came printed on the side of the can of condensed soup. My mom added a few innovations, mainly the addition of the roasting bag for the turkey (which came out when I was in grade school I think). My grandmother had never used one and was of the basting every 20 minutes generation. The bag, IMO, creates a far superior juicy bird with crispy skin (and it's a heck of a lot easier to clean up the carcass too).

But we just find that the addition of some flavor profiles that my ancestors never would have used regularly are what get me the most praise in my holiday cooking. Like Chinese 5 Spice or ponzu . . . my Granny would never have dared step foot into an Asian grocer to get these ingredients. White housewives just didn't do that way back in the day, even if there had been an Asian grocer in her mid-western world. And yes, now I understand that you can grab these ingredients at your closest mega-supermarket these days, but even 10 years ago I couldn't find them. They just bring our fuller, more rounded flavors. The same with smoked paprika and Worcestershire sauce in my green bean casserole. And woah, let me tell you about my discovery of the savory sweet potato dish about 4 years ago (it was a side for Christmas dinner at my moms, which btw, I always insist on roast beef instead of ham - yeah, I'm a pain in the putoot). I have never had a more requested dish for pot-lucks and holiday dinners (well, other than my bourbon pecan pie). Most people forgo regular mashed spuds in favor of the sweets, and in all honesty, we know it's because they're not candied.

We like to thank Food Network around our house for getting us to try out new ingredients. Imagine if our grandmothers or even our mothers had had access to this channel when we were young and impressionable and picky eaters. On a side note, my hubby's favorite food at Thanksgiving has always been the green bean casserole. But his mother always made the boring recipe from the side of the can. Now, he can't imagine eating any other than my recipe :)

Happy eatings everyone.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy news

Keeping you in the dark on the happy news for a moment, I just have to say my little Yam is being so cute right now. He's recently just reached the point where his little characters "talk" to each other. Right now his sitting at the coffee table with a construction worker, a cow, and a jeep and they are having the most intriguing conversation. Occasionally, the cow hops on the jeep . . . I didn't know cows could drive.

Okay, so my happy news. . . This morning when I woke up, I did NOT have to take my fasting blood glucose. Yup, it's not a day I have to check my sugars. I called in my glucose levels to the perinatal high-risk clinic last night and yes, I got a bit of a chastising with one of my fasting level being 100 (they want them <100, <90 is even better) but I totally understand that my night-time snack was heavy on fruit and milk (all carbs - no protein). I didn't even admit to the cookie I had :) But after that, she told me that my levels have been so good lately that I can now reduce my number of stabbings to 3x/week. Yup, Tues, Thurs, and Sat. I'll still have to check fasting and after all meals; at least it's only 12 stabbings instead of 28! Of course, the first Thursday this time in Thanksgiving! But she told me I could check on Friday instead (well, I'll check on Thursday because we're doing Thanksgiving dinner with my family on Friday as my mom has to work on Thursday). Hooray!

Monday, November 22, 2010

TMI - cat hork!

Today was a long long day. It's day 3 of my illuminated manuscripts project at school and well, my 7th graders aren't doing the bestest on it. Some are pretty decent; they're calligraphy sucks, but I blame it all on the fact they are not practicing patience and attention to detail. Maybe I'll post the best looking ones when they turn them in tomorrow. But I've been sleepy all day and we have a union negotiation tomorrow afternoon which might get really ugly. Basically, the 2 days of work before Thanksgiving Break will be a long, winding road and no brother to carry me.

Okay, now on to the title of the blog post. Just as I'm walking in very late this evening, into the back door, Poppy runs past and I nearly step on a big pile of cat hork. It was full of biscuits and wet food. Well, Poppy was the most likely culprit as she's the one that horks most often. I ignored it and went in to eat, watch TV, and play with my boy.

Well, after Liam and I took a shower, I went into the laundry room to throw some towels and clothes in that I couldn't get to with yesterday's marathon scourge purge. As I walked in, I couldn't find the cat hork. Huh?! But there was a suspicious pile of 3 socks, a wash cloth, and a pair of my underwear on the floor. Ugh, seriously?! The cats (one of them) went back into the laundry room and literally hid the hork under a conspicuous pile of clothes. What little witches. I swear cats are like toddlers.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

DnD widow

Today I got a chance to sleep in a little. Woke up about 2 whole minutes before I heard the little guy yelling to be let outta his crib. My fasting blood sugars have been a little high, but I know it's because I haven't been having my snacks in the evening. But I'm getting used to protein shakes for breakfast.

My mom called today to let me know she was going Christmas shopping and check on the size of appliances we'd like for our gifts. There was a small holiday get together going on down the street complete with firetruck and 15 y/o's death metal band. Then my hubster left me for his DnD game. I'm a widow once again.

So Liam had a protein heavy lunch and then went down for his nap. I don't exactly know when since he was doing gymnastics in his crib. I spent the time doing more searching for Christmas and holiday related crafts appropriate for toddlers. I have come to a couple of decisions: I do not care about glue or glitter, but I do feel uncomfortably about paint projects; we also don't have much money for craft projects :( Also, managed to get 4 loads of laundry done to help keep the scourge of pestilence from spreading. Hot water and bleach on the sheets, blankets, pillow cases, and the bath robes. Liam was so happy when I gave him his Green Ghost all clean and fresh smelling (green ghost is his lovie blanket and we do wash it regularly as he still has leakage problems with his diapers during nights and naps).

We went to the grocery store. I got a freezer lasagna for our dinner (of course Liam ate about 3 bites of it - he still doesn't like noodles very much). He got a bath. I read him Guess How Much I Love You and half of Jack and the Beanstalk. He went down easily. I never got around to finishing the line work for my art project for school. Oh well, I'm pretty beat.

Uneventful day and yet I'm exhausted - go figure. Oh well, Baby B is getting a little stronger and moving more. I'm 22 weeks today and have not a thing to wear. Forgot to weigh myself this morning, so I'll check that tomorrow. Wish I didn't have to work this week (even if it is only 2 days). Won't be getting a shower tonight since the hot water's pretty much been used up. Time for my snack. Then into fresh clean bedding for the night. Ahhhhhhh.

we're sick

Compromised Immune System Volume 2:
Okay, the other day, my husband was looking for any out of the ordinary legions on his skin (because of the month of ringworm around here). He found what looked like a little patch of angry pimples on his lower abdomen. The next day, I guess they started hurting because he texts me while I'm at work. He thinks he's got shingles!!! WTF?!

Okay, this makes sense. The spots aren't itching him but he has radiating pain that is travelling around back toward his spine in a line from the patch of bumps to his back. Actually, he says the bumps don't hurt, just the back. He also never had chicken pox as a kid and got them when he was like 21 or 22 years old.

Worry time for me. I'm really susceptible to herpes zoster virus. I've had it twice as a child. My mother had it three times (once as a child and both times I got it). My dad's had chicken pox once as a child and then came down with shingles a couple summers ago. So, my family just doesn't do well with the chicken pox virus. Don't worry about Liam, he's already had the vaccine (lucky kid). But I'm pregnant. I'm only 22 weeks and coming down with shingles in the first 24w can cause congenital defects in the fetus. Also the risk of developing pneumonia is really high. And people with high stress in their lives are more likely to develop shingles. Eek! To tell the truth, I've been swinging between really stressed and really apathetic at work (not to mention I had a total beeyotch of a mom hassling me this week).

So, precautions: Jon is now required to wear a shirt at all times and sleep in a shirt to bed. We will be washing the sheets with 2 wash cycles (and the blankets are getting an extra wash too which may also help with our ringworm prob). Jon and I will be using separate soaps of a few weeks. Hopefully this will clear up quickly and his pain won't last too long.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Fungus amongus

We've been sick here in the Rogers house. It all started with a little bug bite on my ankle one morning, mid-October, when I woke up. It was the kind that I scratched the hell out of (it even bled a little) and then never bothered with it again. Well, a couple days later it was starting to look like a pimple or an ingrown hair. Then I made the mistake of shaving over it --- stupid!!! Within 10 days, it had gotten to be a red spot the size of a quarter and had that distinct circular ring shape. Yep, I have Tinea corporis, aka ringworm! I had been suspecting it for about a week, even before the ring shape developed and had been treating with miconozole (which I knew from my previous pregnancy was safe for topical fungal/yeast treatment) but it wasn't helping and now my legion was hurting.

Liam developed one ring spot on the back of his leg just before Halloween. We stopped by Target on November 1st and asked the pharmacist (they're great people, they know their shit, use them as a resource). She suggested clortrimozole; apply 2x daily like the package says. Well, my legion started to go away right away and is now practically gone. Two weekends later and Liam's spot is bigger and looks, to quote my husband, "angry." Over the weekend, we also noticed that Poppy has a bald spot on her ear and it's inflamed. Monday night Jon emails a photo to the doc; Tuesday found us racing to catch the last appointment.

Doc looks at both legions and says "yup it's ringworm." But apply 4x daily and expect it to take 4-6 weeks to clear up. Has to do with the compromised immune system of children. Add to that we've had head colds and mild congestion the last week and then I mentioned that Liam's cradle-cap is back. "Yup, more evidence of immature immune system. Perfectly normal."

How did I get it? you ask. Well, my coworker (and landlord's girlfriend) had a major outbreak of ringworm in her house this summer. I then roomed with her on a business trip while she was treating it. Any physical contact with her or her things could have caused it. But that was August!!! you exclaim. Yes, but ringworm is a fungus and can live dormant for a long time. I basically gave it to my cat, who gave it back to me, and that fateful morning I scratched that bug bite until it hurt-so-good I transferred it back from my hand (and the cat) to my leg.

As for treating the cat . . . the same clortrimozole cream on her ear a couple times a day. Rub it in really good so she licks as little as possible off. Her ear already looks better in the last couple days.

Stay healthy!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Couple of triumphs today. 1) started a calligraphy project with my 7th graders; they like it. 2) just wrote a great letter to help a friend's son start K early

Sunday, November 14, 2010

4-day weekend (day 4)

Well, tomorrow it's back to the grind. Honestly, I'm not looking forward to it. Taking 4 days in a row with my guys has been wonderful and I am definitely not looking forward to 3 weeks off at Christmas for the very same reason. I already feel like I'm scrambling even though I made the decision to take it slow and steady with the medieval/Renaissance Europe studies. We're a little over 1 week into it and already I feel like I'm running out of time. I think part of it is because of the Thanksgiving holiday coming up in 7 school days. Then after that there's only 3 weeks before the end of the Quarter. The medieval festival is scheduled for the last Thursday in February and I'm already freaking out. I'm terrified of failing. That's a struggle I've always had. I try to be perfect in all things (or at least give the appearance that I'm living a Mary Poppins life "practically perfect in every way"). And I'm terrified that the festival will sink and the parents and people of my district will cluck their tongues and say behind their hands "See, we always knew she couldn't do anything good." I never feel like I'm good enough.

So, I'll be giving a quiz this next week and then I want to spend 3 days doing an art project. That's something I've been trying to add more into my curriculum this year. I don't know if the kids appreciate it. I'm sure they hate that I have to have a lesson plan for it, a reason for why. Anyway, I was hoping to illuminate nursery rhymes and teach them some basic calligraphy. But of course, I can't afford calligraphy pens. Maybe I can go buy some chisel tipped markers and get the school to reimburse me.

I also want to try to come up with some crafts for the boys' room, like maybe some name letters to hang on the wall. I have tons of scrap booking paper. I suppose I should go look at it. Oh, btw, this is the bedding I mentioned yesterday that I totally have fallen in love with. Jon and I don't think it's too girlie especially since we're going to go with a courtly/knightly theme for the boys room. (Another hint, it has stuck in our brains lately that Baby "B" be named for dragons - No, I'm not naming him Gorbash or Breagh or Srumgl.) Only trouble is that it is only available through JCPenney right now. I can't find an eBay or Amazon sale on it for the life of me.
Just trying out my SMS featureto post from my phone.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

4-day weekend (day 3)

It's been pretty uneventful today. I never got back last night to update at the end of day 2, but it was bad for Jon. :( Poor guy seemed to have picked up a mild case of food poisoning on top of the cold that the family is sharing. His tummy was bothering him all day and he was beat-up exhausted. He threw up 3 bites into dinner, and that was after sleeping for about a 6 hour nap. That was the second time he vomited yesterday too. I'm trying to decide if my new meds are keeping me up or knocking me out. Just need to figure out when to take them. Liam was adorable all day yesterday and we enjoyed a super long, hot shower to try and break up our phlegm before he went to bed (I think that worked).

Today I sat my ass on the couch for the majority of the day. It was nice to sleep in until 7am (yeah, I know, but that's sleeping in for a teacher). I would love to say I'll make Jon get up tomorrow, but I do actually enjoy waking up at 5:30 on weekends now . . . it's the only me alone time I get and I usually catch up on my girly television shows like ANTM and Gossip Girl and 90210.

I started to think of some Christmas crafting ideas I'd like to do. But who am I kidding. We have NO $$$. Last night Mom and I talked for a little bit and I agreed to make green bean casserole and a sugar-free apple pie for Thanksgiving (which will be on Friday this year as my mom is working on Thursday). Then I got to thinking about the bedding set I really want for the new little one, but how it's damned expensive (my mom got Liam's bedding at a garage sale for $25!) and then I really want to decorate their room in castles and dragons and knights but there's nothing like that for kids right now - poo!

Liam was super chatty and rather cuddly today which leads me to believe that his cold is affecting him. He's never been sick-sick and we are so very thankful for that, especially since I work in a school and my students are ALWAYS full of snot and coughs and gross (they're 12). I made pot roast for dinner. It wasn't much work; I got one of those bag-n-season kits. Then I threw together a little roux and made a kick-ass gravy (because *horn toot* I'm awesome at gravy). Liam didn't eat much which is his modus operandi lately. But he drank a lot of juice and milk all day so he might have been full of liquid.

Now, Jon and I are hanging here while he gets some MAN TV time and watches a MMA fight. I played a little Puccini on the piano and finally figured out why I was having to read bass clef (it's my cello book for Puccini - did you know I used to play cello . . . and was a well-trained mezzo-soprano, and am self-taught on piano *toot toot*). We cranked on the pellet stove for the first time this season and now have learned that our cat Lily is completely fascinated by the stove. She has been sitting in front of it since I left the room and turned the light off. Although she did stop for a few moments because I think she was embarrassed that I got the camera out to catalog her looniness. So far, we're liking the thing and I hope it helps us keep cozy this winter (of course, we won't be using it until we get a cage to put around it or the toddler is in bed).

Friday, November 12, 2010

4-day weekend (day 2)

So far the day has been pretty uneventful. I got up and went into work (yeah that's right, my school did NOT have the day after a Thursday holiday off) just to set up for my substitute. Then I came back home. Hubster wasn't feeling too well which is sad because he'd been doing better than I for the last couple of days. He's been back in bed since I got home (around 2 1/2 hours now - note for long though because Liam just ran through the house yelling "daddy daddy dah dah dad" - look out Jon). So I've done a little laundry, updated my blog, played with my kid, facebooked a lot. Got hungry early since I didn't have my normal protein shake at breakfast so I ate around 10:30. Let me tell you it's hard to find something with enough protein when you can't afford the extra protein the new diet requires. Life would be so much easier if I weren't such a picky eater. Here's some adorable snaps of my 27 month old "helping" me with laundry.
He's totally into saying "cheese" now and trying to smile for the camera. So that leaves us with growly-faced smiles. These were totally not posed by the way. He parked his butt into my laundry to watch Elmo.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

4-day weekend (day 1)

Warning LONG!

Today is Veterans Day so we have a crazy holiday in the middle of the week. Too bad students, you have to be back tomorrow. I originally scheduled a prenatal appointment with my nurse practitioner for tomorrow morning and then decided I would take ALL of Friday off instead of just a half-day. The original plan was to pawn the spawn off on someone else and take a little extended weekend with the Hubster. Well money's tight, that didn't work out. Then yesterday, I finally get around to checking my voicemail and find out my appointment on Friday has been canceled and I need to reschedule. Eek!!!

Well, guess what. The doc's office is open on Veterans Day and my actual Ob/Gyn had an opening. So I saw her today instead. Took some pics of my 20w belly to post up on Facebook for everyone (sorry about the blurry one with Liam, it was too cute though).

There was a new nurse taking my BP and checking my weight (oh yeah, still 1 lb under my first weight for this pregnancy - nothing like a carb-starvation diet!). She was awesome. While wrapping my arm with the BP cuff, she stops and exclaims "you have the most beautiful face!" Awwwww. Love her, she's my new favorite nurse!

The rest of the day . . . not so awesome. Turned into an emotional, blubbering mess with my doctor and all this just managed to triple the amount of snot coming out of my already rhinopharyngitis-y face (common cold). Gonna try going on some meds to help me manage life. It was either that or consider going on medical disability and ummmmm, that's not gonna pay the bills. Her first response was "can you quit your job?" Don't I wish. We'll give this about 6 weeks and see how I'm doing. Basically, the risks of medication to Baby "B" are far outweighed by the risks of momma being overwhelmed emotionally and financially strapped and stressed out. Yup. I'm a mess.

Then tried to go to JoAnn's to see if anything caught my eye (not that I could afford it). It was mobbed because, oh yeah, it was a holiday. I had a coughing fit in the middle of the store that was so bad I was gagging. I had no more tissues because I blew through them all in the doc's office. I had to race out to the car where, yet again, I had no tissues. I spent 5 minutes in the parking lot coughing and blowing my nose on a flyer for Woodland Community College. Let's just add to all this embarrassment the fact that I'm basically incontinent because I've had one child and never bothered to do kegel exercises last time or this.

I stopped at Target to get a few items we needed (like COFFEE FILTERS) and bought a box of tissues for the car. What should have been 5 minutes in-and-out turned into an ordeal as the gal in front of me turned out to be buying with an EBT card. Ugh, and her foodstamps card didn't swipe. So they checker had to ring her through like 3x before he finally got a manager. All the while, I'm miserable and just want to drive the 75 minutes home (or at least blow my nose again) and I notice that she's got a new Blackberry, a new purse, and basically appears like she's abusing the government assistance. This just serves to make me more mad about the fact that we can't get on WIC or foodstamps because I make too damned much money in gross but no one ever pays attention to the fact that my share of health insurance is 1/3 or my monthly check. We never make it through the month and haven't for 18 months now. I friggin' use birthday money to buy groceries or pay for electricity. And to top it all off . . . SHE WAS A HAIR TWIRLER! ugh >:(

Oh, I stopped by Chic-fil-a for the first time on the way home. It was decent, but I still like Carl's Jr. burgers better.